He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.–Ecclesiastes 11:3
Many times we want to wait for the most favorable conditions to do any task, but especially for a task we are afraid to do. It’s our mechanism to procrastinate being uncomfortable. We live in a world where waiting for the right conditions will result in nothing. Conditions will never be just right.
Anytime we have to do something that is going to make us uncomfortable, we want to wait for the right time. That right time usually involves us feeling braver, less tired, less stressed, people willing to help, etc. Reality is, none of those will line up where we feel our best in all of those categories.
I remember doing improvisational acting in high school speech competitions. We I first started going to competitions, I would usually end up being last to go, because I waited for everyone else to go before me. I always told myself I would go when I thought it was the right time, i.e., I was waiting for someone else to do really bad. When I waited, I always ended up not doing as well, because I had mentally psyched myself out.
When I jumped in and did my improv as soon as I entered the room I always did much better. Was I anymore prepared than if I waited? No, not at all. Sometimes far less prepared. What I had on my side was that I had not thought about all the things that could go wrong. I hadn’t psyched myself out.
Was it perfect? Hardly ever, but it wasn’t perfect when I waited either. The thing with improvisational acting is, you’re given a topic/scenario to act out, but only given 2 minutes to think what you’re going to do. Nobody was prepared, because that was the whole point of doing improv. Sometimes our fears make us loose sense of reality. We are human, we will never be perfect. That’s just a fact of life. Sometimes we’re going to look silly. Embrace it, it’s part of life. Living in a fear of not wanting to look silly or to fail, is like living in your own personal prison.
The conditions are never right, there will never be perfect timing, and you will never feel up for the challenges. You have to take action, even though your whole body says you can’t do it. How do you overcome the fear?
- Realize you’re nervous, you’re going to be nervous, but getting it over with will end the nervousness.
- Focus on what you can control.
- Try to keep your body as rested and well fed as possible. When our bodies are not well rested or lacking nutrition we are less likely to take action.
- Think about how the best situation will turn out.
- Be prepared for failure. Don’t dwell on it, but accept that it might happen. It’s life, we will fail at times. Think about how you will respond if you do fail. Will you try again? Having a plan a head of time, helps us cope with failure and work through it.
Many times we’re like this in our walk with God. We we should be witnessing or helping out with other activities. We feel like God is leading us to do something, but we want that perfect timing. We’re afraid of what someone might say about us. We’re afraid we’ll mess up and people will make fun of us. We feel like our talents are not as good as others that are helping out.
You know what? It might very well happen that something you try doesn’t work out well, but you might find something that you’re better at in the process. In the end, there will never be the perfect time for us to do something, but that uncomfortableness allows us to grow.